Rohto Lycée Eye Wash

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I’m not sure how popular this eye wash is locally but I know it has a small cult following outside of Japan. This and especially the eye drops version (which I had a few years ago) are so popular. I guess it’s because of the kawaii pink colour.

I bought this at a time when my eyes were regularly irritated. Sometimes it’s itchy, other times I felt something went in the eye and it’s poking; in general I was rubbing them a lot (big no no) and usually in the evenings. I thought an eye wash would be great so I went and placed an order.

This eye wash claims to remove traces of eye makeup and dirt in the eye; it contains vitamins and hyaluronic acid to combat dryness. Safe for contact lens user. Here’s what it says on the back for those who understand:

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Before I go into my review, there are two things you need to know (both surprised me since I can’t really read Japanese). It’s rose scented (you can smell it when you open the lid) and it gives a cooling, mentholated feeling. That cooling feeling in eye products usually means it is a vaso-contrictor – it will alleviate/reduce redness in the eyes and it does so by constricting the blood vessels.

I tend to avoid mentholated/cooling eye drops because I don’t really enjoy using them. I reach for eye drops when my eyes are dry and the menthol isn’t really soothing on that end. In Japan you can get eye drops with different degrees of ‘coolness’, and I think the Rohto Lycée eye drops is on the lower/middle of the spectrum.

The bottles comes with a silicone cup with a line, and you pour the product until that mark. If you don’t fill it enough you’ll have a hard to ‘bathing’ and rinsing your eye. You then proceed to rinse by squeezing the bottom of the cup from time to time, with your eyes wide open of course. You do the same with the other eye.

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I don’t know if you’re supposed to change the liquid between eyes. It makes sense to though.

Anyway so I went and did this for the first time not knowing it’s mentholated. Didn’t enjoy it at all. My eyes watered after rinsing. I’m not sure if that’s part of the design. After a few uses I suppose my tolerance went up and it was fine. Have a tissue ready for use after rinsing.

Does it make my eyes brighter or clearer? I do remember this one time I noticed the whites appeared whiter. Otherwise I use this before bed so I don’t really care or pay attention to that. They say you can use this multiple times a day (actually recommend 3-6 times daily)

Does it remove gunk? There were a couple of times when I tipped the cup over the sink I saw remnants of eye makeup. I believe it mostly accelerates the natural cleansing process of your eyes. Your eyes clean themselves so strictly speaking there is no need for eye washes. I sometimes find black gunk in the inner corner of my eyes after cleaning and removing my makeup. They appear in an indeterminate amount of time, but not straight away. I take a cotton bud and get rid of that. In my experience using this (or any) eye wash helps the gunk appear almost immediately after rinsing, if it weren’t rinsed away or caught in the cup already.

Do you need this? No. I think there a much better alternatives if you really feel the need to use an eye wash.

Reasons why I don’t recommend this:
1. It’s a vaso-constrictor. It is generally agreed that this is not good for you, especially if you’re using regularly.
2. It’s scented with rose. Why would they do that? Actually I know why they did it, but I also know I don’t need scented stuff in my eyes.

The nail in the coffin:
As I was writing this I thought I’d double check the instructions on the back of the bottle and grab a pic of that. Then I remembered I’ve always wondered if the liquid wasn’t tinted pink, cos there were times I thought it looked pink in the sink. I just never had time to confirm (wanted to sleep instead). So I just removed the wrapper and well, here’s a photo:

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3. It’s tinted.

I would have been happier with a product that’s simpler, without all these frills and thrills. Colouring and perfume? No thanks.
If you’re not living in Japan, chances are you’ll be paying a premium to get this. I don’t think this is worth the money or trouble at all.

The best thing about this product for me is the silicone cup, which I will keep and use with regular saline solution. I used those before but it’s so messy without some kind of device. I was rinsing my eyes lying down and with lots of tissues at hand. The cup is one of the reasons I bought this.

I’m about two-thirds through the bottle. I suppose I will finish it, we’ll see (I’m Asian I hate wasting). But honestly I haven’t been reaching this a lot lately. In the beginning it was almost a nightly thing but my eyes behaved better and I didn’t feel the need to use any washes or drops. This has something to do with the change of eye makeup – I was using a mascara with fibers that was particularly irritating. The only time I feel like using this is either when I use an eyeliner that’s really budge-proof and takes more time to remove, or one that’s on the other end of the spectrum – really soft with lots of slip that’s been wandering around all day.

Bottom line: Don’t buy into the hype ladies.

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